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Honey Brown Hope Foundation Rakes in National, State and Local Recognition

Honey Brown Hope Foundation Rakes in National, State and Local Recognition

Honey Brown Hope Foundation

Houston, TX — The Honey Brown Hope Foundation, a nationally recognized, award-winning 501(c)3 non-profit that has served youth and their families for over two decades, announced today that it is thankful this holiday season for recently being recognized for its civil rights

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Community Empowerment: Black Chambers of Commerce Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

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Employees of Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Have More Company Loyalty

Employees of Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Have More Company Loyalty

loyalty to employers

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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Nature Nurtures Creativity After Four Days of Hiking

Written by Featured Organization on 17 December 2012.

SALT LAKE CITY – Backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature disconnected from electronic devices, according to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas. “This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” says David Strayer, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah.

The study by Strayer and University of Kansas psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and Paul Atchley was scheduled for publication Dec. 12 in PLOS ONE, an online journal published by the Public Library of Science.Don’t the results seem obvious?

“Writers for centuries have talked about why interacting with nature is important, and lots of people go on vacations,” says Strayer. “But I don’t think we know very well what the benefits are from a scientific perspective.”The study involved 56 people – 30 men and 26 women – with an average age of 28. They participated in four- to six-day wilderness hiking trips organized by the Outward Bound expedition school in Alaska, Colorado, Maine and Washington state. No electronic devices were allowed on the trips.Of the 56 study subjects, 24 took a 10-item creativity test the morning before they began their backpacking trip, and 32 took the test on the morning of the trip’s fourth day.The results: people who had been backpacking four days got an average of 6.08 of the 10 questions correctly, compared with an average score of 4.14 for people who had not yet begun a backpacking trip.

“We show that four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multimedia and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50 percent,” the researchers conclude.

However, they note that their study was not designed to “determine if the effects are due to an increased exposure to nature, a decreased exposure to technology or the combined influence of these two factors.”

While earlier research has indicated nature has beneficial effects, “it’s equally plausible that it is not multitasking to wits’ end that is associated with the benefits,” Strayer says.

The results were controlled for age differences between the groups that took the test before and during the backpacking trip, because “as you get older, you have greater verbal abilities,” Strayer says.The ‘Gentle, Soft Fascination’ of NatureThe researchers cited earlier studies indicating that children today spend only 15 to 25 minutes daily in outdoor play and sports, that nature-based recreation has declined for 30 years, and that the average 8- to 18-year-old spends more than 7.5 hours a day using media such as TV, cell phones and computers.

They also cite earlier work on “attentional restoration theory,” which holds that modern technology and multitasking place demands on our “executive attention” – the ability to switch among tasks, stay on task and inhibit distracting actions and thoughts – and that nature is effective in replenishing such abilities. 

“Our modern society is filled with sudden events (sirens, horns, ringing phones, alarms, television, etc.) that hijack attention,” the psychologists wrote. “By contrast, natural environments are associated with gentle, soft fascination, allowing the executive attentional system to replenish.”

Earlier work has showed that going on a hike can improve proofreading, the ability to see a certain optical illusion and the ability to repeat digits backwards after hearing a list of digits. But Strayer says none of those abilities provide a standard measure of executive attention or creativity.Strayer says he and the Atchleys did a trial run for the study by trying a variety of creativity tests on themselves during a five-day backpacking trip in southern Utah’s Grand Gulch in May 2010. Outward Bound trips for the study were during summer 2010. •


The researchers decided on a decades-old test known as the Remote Associates Test, or RAT, that is a standard measuring tool for creative thinking and problem-solving. These abilities are believed to arise in the same prefrontal cortex area of the brain that is overtaxed buy constant demands on our attention in our technological environment.In this untimed test, participants get 10 sets of three words. For each set they must come up with a fourth word that is tied to the other three. For example, an answer to SAME/TENNIS/HEAD might be MATCH (because a match is the same, tennis match and match head).Unlike other studies, where subjects were tested in labs after brief periods outdoors, “the current study is unique in that participants were exposed to nature over a sustained period and they were still in that natural setting during testing,” the researchers write.